January 26, 2015

Christian Manifesto IV: Prayer of Righteous Men Effects Much

Declaration IV: Prayer Changes Things

I believe prayer changes things. I believe prayer works. Prayer is an essential in the Christian life. If there is no prayer, the person that isn’t praying, isn’t Christian. Period. No exceptions. To fail to pray is to expect to go through life under one’s own will and one’s own power separate of God.

Prayer is an exercising of one’s faith and a manifestation of their hope.

James 5:16 ~ “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Prayer is actual and literal conversation with God. Prayer is to God alone. Prayer is in the presence of God. It is a place of supplication. I believe that every single time you preface an action or thought with the thought of God (whether as Father, Son or Spirit), you are in reality praying. The resultant action or thoughts are then better aligned with God having consulted with God first. If one puts God first in thought and in all things they are essentially praying without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 ~ “pray without ceasing….”

Prayer makes one dependent. Prayer is admitting inadequacy. Prayer puts one in position of humility. Prayer needs to be for repentance, forgiveness and change. No Christian is acceptable the way they are. We all need to improve. Prayer is therefore for the guilty and the sinful. It takes someone realizing that they are sinful to be able to pray for said forgiveness. This means prayer leads to a contrite heart. A bent knee shows that the person bending it knows that God is aware of what is best for us. He being our Creator who is omniscient and omnipotent knows what will be in our best interest.

Our prayers can be thanksgivings, requests, needs, healing and more. We should also pray for others. Here’s the thing though. As our faith increases, the gap between the prayer and a possible answer may increase because God is attempting to build our faith in that silence. Prayer does not equate to immediate answers. As a matter of fact, to immediately answer the prayers of the faithless builds little or no faith. Other times, prayers will be answered in ways we do not expect. Is it because God is playing a joke on us? No! Again, we must understand God knows what’s good for us and knows what’s better for us more than we do. Sometimes our prayers are answered in ways we can’t comprehend because our views are too myopic or to small-minded. God has better things in store for us.

The proper response after prayer or before it is praise. We know that God loves us and hears us yet he is the God of the Universe. He considers us important enough to listen to individually like children….because we are His children! This should solicit praise.

There is nothing hidden in prayer. Prayer exposes our most hidden desires…and our most hidden sins. Prayer builds trust. Prayer builds and solidifies a relationship. Prayer changes things mostly because in the act of prayer, prayer changes us and gives a stronger heart for God. As James said…

James 4:8 ~ “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

Scripture Support:

1 Chronicles 16:11 ~ “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek His face always.”

Psalm 145:18 ~ “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Proverbs 15:29 ~ “The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”

Luke 6:12 ~ “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”

Romans 12:12 ~ “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Philippians 4:6 ~ “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

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